President's Updates

July/August 2022

Dear Campus Community,

This summer appears to have flown by so quickly that we will soon welcome our new and returning students back to campus to begin a new academic year. I have enjoyed watching the energy and excitement of the new summer orientation program, which has kept our campus brimming with activity. The large 3-D "Ville" letters (of course in gold) have appeared weekly outside of Biemesderfer, and I enjoyed seeing our new students and taking a few pictures with them. Another significant change on campus this summer was the lake/pond restoration project, which was partially historic because it is the first time it is happening in this century. While Miller and S'Ville had to relocate for the project to proceed, the ducks and mallards hung around for most of the two months that the pond/lake was dredged and refilled. I am glad to say our two heroes are back in their renovated environs.

As we prepare for the beginning of the fall semester, the health and safety of our community remain our top priority. Despite the appearance of new variants of the COVID-19 virus, experts believe we are moving into the endemic phase of this pandemic. With cases on the rise throughout Europe and even in some parts of Pennsylvania, the CDC recommends that everyone stay up-to-date with COVID vaccinations.

At Millersville, masks will continue to be optional on campus, both inside and outside. The University will not test students when they move into the residence halls but encourages students to test themselves before they arrive. If a student tests positive during the semester, they should call Health Services at 717-871-5250. Employees should inform their supervisor and email Diane Copenhaver in Human Resources at diane.copenhaver@millersville.edu.

In both cases, the quarantine period will be five days per CDC guidelines. Students may quarantine in their residence hall or at home. Employees should check with their supervisor about working remotely. In addition, faculty should contact their department head and dean. The COVID Monitoring Team will continue to watch the situation, and we will alert the campus community if the environment changes.

In this issue of the President’s newsletter, I highlight the Pre-Scholars Summer Institute students on campus and focus on the new University College and the graduation ceremony of our students in China over the summer. A new grant that will introduce Pennsylvania students to preparation and careers in computer science is also discussed in this issue.

‘Ville’s PSSI - More Than Just an Access Program

In mid-July, when many of our students were still in vacation or work mode, 38 first-year students arrived on campus for the Pre-Scholars Summer Institute. The students are preparing for the fall semester by participating in a five-week, six-credit extensive program focused on academic, community and interpersonal skill development. Students learn to embrace a positive attitude towards their education and gain the skills necessary for success in higher education. 

PSSI is a part of the University’s Student Access and Support Services. SASS was originally founded to help disadvantaged students, students with high GPAs but low SAT scores, and students who otherwise may have had a hard time getting into college. Today, it has a strong focus on retention and supporting its students throughout the four years of their college careers.  Many students become acquainted with SASS during PSSI. 

Darlene Newman, the director of the program, is proud of her PSSI students. “Many of our students are first-generation, but they’re involved at the University. They are leading organizations and are a part of sororities and other groups. Our students work hard. The retention rates for our students are as high or higher than for the rest of the student population,” she says.  

For more information on the Pre-Scholars Summer Institute or Student Access and Support Services, please contact mustudentsuccessprograms@millersville.edu.   

Student Success Network Officially Becomes The University College

Effective July 1, the Student Success Network officially became the University College. The college is comprised of Academic Advisement and Student Development, the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, the Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership, Experiential Learning and Career Management, the Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum, Integrated Studies, Multi-Disciplinary Studies, the Office of Learning Services, Starfish, Success Coaching, the University Honors College and the University Writing Center.

Dr. Rachel Finley-Bowman, the inaugural dean of Student Success, is now the inaugural dean of University College.

The mission of the college is a commitment to inclusive student success, engagement, achievement, support, and agency in student learning and ongoing professional and personal development for sustained academic excellence.

“This new college is designed for students – supporting their academic needs through coaching, mentoring, high impact experiences, and other like opportunities, as well as complementing the work and resources in MU’s other colleges,” says Finley-Bowman.

The offices and resources of University College will be located in the McNairy Library, with additional college departments located in Lyle Hall and houses along George Street.

For more information about the University College, visit UC Info.

MU Students Celebrate Dual Graduation with Ceremony in China

Seventeen students who spent two years studying at Millersville University recently graduated from their home university in China. It’s part of a program that Millersville has been involved with since 2016.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the China Center for International Educational Exchange offer the Sino-American Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development program – or CHEPD. Through this partnership, students complete two degrees, one from their home university in China and a degree from Millersville University. Undergraduate students from any Chinese member institution transfer to MU for 2 to 2.5 years and graduate students for 1 to 1.5 years. 

This past May, 17 students graduated with degrees from MU and NEAU and they celebrated with a virtual ceremony. Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University, offered his remarks and congratulations virtually.

Northeast Agricultural University has been Millersville’s primary partner university in China since 2018. Students in this program earn a bachelor’s degree in biology. “The past few years, students in the program have worked hard to complete the program remotely,” says Dr. Christina Kinney, associate director of education abroad and partnerships at Millersville. “As this partnership begins to venture into post-pandemic international collaboration, the Office of International Programs and Services looks forward to planning for the relaunch of international mobility for students, faculty and administrators in the CHEPD program.”  

Empowering PA Students

Creating a national model that provides workshops, conferences and in-service training for counselors to learn about computer science is the goal behind a $407,447.00 grant awarded to Millersville University. The grant will provide the counselors with data, resources and messaging to help them recruit students into computer science and broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in computing.

Millersville’s Dr. Nazli Hardy, the lead applicant on the grant, says the funds will go toward several activities, including developing a website to help educators connect students to computer science, full-day training programs and mini-grants for school counselors.

Hardy says the job market for computer science majors is fantastic and this program will equip counselors to arm teachers and students with important marketable skills.

The grant is from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to improve access to science, technology, engineering, math and computer science education. The PAsmartAdvancing Grants will help a total of 42 institutions across the state.

School counselors, through role and training, are uniquely positioned to align programs and coordinate services between education and the workforce. Hardy says the grant will provide training and professional development to school counselors so they can advocate for computer science.

And Millersville University students will get hands-on learning by helping to develop coding and security modules.